Test centre top for UK’s worst drivers

Heckmondwike driving test centre. (d14061024)
Heckmondwike driving test centre. (d14061024)

A quarter of the worst drivers in the country took their tests at Heckmondwike, the Driving Standards Agency has revealed.

New figures show since 2004, out of the top 20 learners who took the most tests, five women made 158 attempts between them at Heckmondwike.

One learner made 34 attempts; two women took 32 tests each, while two more took 30. All five were aged 35 or over on their last tests. But the figures do not show whether the learners have yet passed.

According to one local driving instructor, Heckmondwike had been consistently in the bottom 10 in the leage tables for at least the past 12 years.

Adrian Scaife of the Spen Valley Driving School – who was not the instructor for any of the five women – said: “The geographical location is bad with some very narrow streets and one-way systems. Gildersome roundabout is also on the test route.

“Nerves can play a part, and people who don’t have English as their first language are struggling with the new independent driving section of the test. The examiner will ask you to follow signs or give you a series of instructions. If your English isn’t up to scratch it can have an impact.

“It is a difficult test centre but it’s not impossible. If you do everything right on the day you should pass.”

Three of the top 20 worst learners took 30 or 31 tests at Heaton in Bradford, and one woman took 32 tests at Horsforth, Leeds.

Of the top 20 learners who took the most theory tests, two men made 55 and 56 attempts in Leeds. The highest number of attempts was 110, made by a woman in Southwark, London.

A DSA spokesperson said: “Some people may take more lessons and be better prepared. Statistics also play a part as the number of tests conducted at different test centres varies significantly. But we train examiners to a high standard and closely monitor their work to ensure all tests are assessed consistently across the country.”